French Hollande Heads to Russia to Press Anti-ISIS Coalition

French Hollande Heads to Russia to Press Anti-ISIS Coalition
Thu Nov 26, 2015 18:31:46

French President Francois Hollande will hold talks on Thursday with Russian leader Vladimir Putin as part of his diplomatic marathon to forge a broad coalition against ISIS terrorists in the wake of the Paris attacks.

The French president met Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Paris early Thursday and will later head to Moscow.

Hollande has been on a whirlwind tour seeking to build a coalition to crush ISIS in Iraq and Syria but has won few concrete pledges so far, and his campaign has been further complicated by a spat between Russia and Turkey over a downed jet.

Renzi offered only vague support for “a coalition of greater and greater strength that is up to the task of ... the destruction of Daesh”, using another name for ISIS.

France invoked a clause requiring EU member states to provide military assistance after the November 13 attacks in Paris, when 130 people lost their lives in a wave of killings by suicide bombers and gunmen claimed by ISIS.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday pledged to stand beside France after talks with Hollande, saying she would act “swiftly” to see how her country can help in the fight against terrorism.

The French and German leaders each laid a pink rose among the tributes of flowers and candles in Place de la Republique, the Paris square that has become a rallying point since the bloodshed.

In Berlin, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Germany would send 650 soldiers to Mali to provide some relief to French forces fighting terrorists there.

Meanwhile in Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron will set out the case for his country to extend its air strikes against ISIS from Iraq into Syria ahead of a vote by MPs next week.

The British premier has called ISIS a “direct threat to our security at home and abroad”.

He met Hollande on Monday and offered France the use of a British air base in Cyprus for flying missions against the terrorists.

While Cameron said he “firmly supported” the French leader, Hollande got a cooler response from US President Barack Obama, who is reluctant to intensify military action without a clear strategy or political track in place; AFP reported.

S/SH

string(2418) "[{"id":"1760881","sort":"3448888","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/18/alalam_635834624044131350_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"“France Is at War”: François Hollande"} ,{"id":"1744770","sort":"3448889","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/10/02/alalam_635793926596696201_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Putin Arrives for Syria Talks with Hollande in Paris"} ,{"id":"1743704","sort":"3448890","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/29/alalam_635791265040155572_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Hollande: Russia, Iran Should Be Part of Syria Solution"} ,{"id":"1736648","sort":"3448891","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/09/07/alalam_635772483400663766_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Hollande: French Spy Drones to Fly over ISIS in Syria"} ,{"id":"1724441","sort":"3448892","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/07/28/alalam_635736976628743799_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"France's President Hollande: Iran Plays Important Role in Mideast"} ,{"id":"1763672","sort":"3448893","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/26/alalam_635841526682365201_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia Sends Warships to Mediterranean, War with Turkey Imminent"} ,{"id":"1763664","sort":"3448894","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/26/alalam_635841510431295251_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Turkey Sends 20 Tanks, 18 Jets to Border: Readies for War with Russia"} ,{"id":"1763660","sort":"3448895","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/26/alalam_635841474890769318_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia Tightens Control over Turkish Food Products Imports"} ,{"id":"1763246","sort":"3448896","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/25/alalam_635840458474868046_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia Deploys Missile Cruiser off Syria to Destroy any Threat"} ,{"id":"1763047","sort":"3448897","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/24/alalam_635839921520517185_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Russia Response to Turkey Downing Russian Su-24: Three Scenarios"} ,{"id":"1762974","sort":"3448898","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/24/alalam_635839864591296587_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Downing of Russia Jet a ‘Stab in the Back’: Russian President Putin"} ,{"id":"1762984","sort":"3448899","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/24/alalam_635839813022795659_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"ISIS Threat Russia a Paris-Style Terror Attack, Moscow Alerted Train Passengers"} ,{"id":"1762859","sort":"3448900","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2015/11/24/alalam_635839678275483186_25f_4x3.mp4","title":"Russia Says Crashed Jet Flying in Syria Side of the Border"} ]"